Twitter allows users to mute content

twitter gets tough on online abuse

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Social media is very popular and many would agree that it’s rise is continuing. The problem with this is that the more people who use and engage with these kinds of facilities, the more they have to appeal to an ever-growing audience. Recognising the fact that audience demographic and subsequent requirements are different for all, is a central part to ensuring that these mediums survive and continue to thrive. Infact, that is true concerning just about anything.

It is also true that offensive and harassing material online is on the rise –  this too can be in circulation anywhere, and social media plays a part aswell. This post looks at what can be done concerning this.

A number of high profile social media platforms have recently announced they will be taking steps to cut down on some of this problem. Instagram for example has recently stated that it will soon have a feature which will allow users to be able to ‘filter’ comments on their own areas. Youtube has unveiled a similar approach, and we know how much of a problem this is from simple online video searches that bring comments which some of us would rather not see at all. Not wanting to get left behind, we can report that Twitter is now able to be able to follow suit with a form of ‘cleaning up’ of its words and comment sections.

Some of Twitters changes or new additions include:

1) An updating of the ‘mute’ feature which will allow its users to simply avoid seeing things they would rather not. It seems that users will have the choice to ‘blacklist’ all manners of conversions ranging from simple tweets to whole discussion and threads.  Not only will this apply to words in the literal sense, but it will also cover non-word items (such as emoji’s, hashtags and usernames.) At this stage it is believed however, that even if something is muted, tweets will still appear in a users timeline section or in the search results.

2) Twitter has also updated its policy based around groups of people being discriminated against and believe this will also help sort and tighten up something which has been a big problem for online social media companies to deal with.

3) Twitter has also promised a feature where abuse can be reported much more easily making it less likely the recipient will have to suffer, and allow the company to act far quicker.

It is clear that there has been pressure from the community to act on this problem and if you view twitter’s announcement the wording easily tells you this.

To what degree this is totally effective is surely up for debate and remains to be seen. It appears that at least now, things that someone doesn’t want to see can be hidden, but that would still presumably mean others could see it, and offensive material will therefore not be removed per se?

This is something that will probably be tweaked and adjusted in due course perhaps, although even as Twitter state in their announcement it is near impossible to 100% remove everything offensive!?

In the meantime, what do we want to know and what should be next…?

Finding out what Facebook is doing about this perhaps?

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